With every new runway casting, fashion week, and year, calls grow louder for the fashion industry to be more inclusive and diverse. Brands have started to realise that women are not all size 4 models. Instead, they come in all sizes and shapes and want to feel confident and beautiful just the way that they are. One of the ways that can be done is to show people that ‘normal’ women that are in all sizes and shapes can display clothing in their favourite shops, grace the covers of all of their favourite magazines, and be as successful within the fashion industry as skinny ‘standard’ size models. That is why today we want to showcase a couple of these women who are doing exactly that, by making a significant difference within the fashion industry.
Ashley is perhaps one of the more well-known of the plus-size models on today’s circuit. She has become one of the leading faces of today’s body positivity movement, for very good reason. She made waves recently by making an appearance in Vogue in un-retouched photos. She was also the first plus-size woman to make an appearance in Sports Illustrated. Even more impressive she is now out on the catwalk strutting her stuff along with the likes of Kaia Gerber and Kendall Jenner. She has made a significant impact as a leading plus-size model that she once again appeared on the Vogue cover with a title that declared ‘no norm is the new norm.’ It is a gigantic step forward within today’s body positivity movement. She has also been one of the major players to promote plus-sized modelling to help it become more mainstream.
The amazing Tess Holiday absolutely has to be included in any discussion about plus-size models. She is considered to be the major spark backing the ‘big is beautiful’ movement. She has been a strong advocate for plus-sized women over her entire career. She made headlines in 2015 when she became the first plus-size model in the world to sign with a major agency. From there she started to flaunt her size 22 curves in plus-size girdles on TV and magazine ads. Her brash, bold, and loud attitude had led her to create the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards, to encourage women of all sizes and shapes to love their bodies as they are and to feel beautiful inside of them. We think she is a beacon of hope for acceptance and happiness for the plus-size world, and we sincerely wish that there were more models around that were just like her.
Here is an interesting woman. For much of her career, Amy Lemons was considered to be a ‘straight sized’ model, since she fitted the standard model sizes for the industry. At the age of 14 she landed her first major modelling job when she was featured on the cover of the Italian Vogue magazine. Over the next few years, she appeared on the covers of Marie Claire, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and Vogue, in addition to starring in campaigns for numerous high-end brands including Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein. However, after she graduated from college, Amy began to speak out about the ‘zero standards’ in the industry and promoted healthy self-esteem for other young women. At this time she made the transition to becoming a plus-size, ad she has been flaunting her curves since then, promoting good self-esteem and mental health for young women everywhere.
Philomena is an incredible model, woman, and all-around person. She is the type of woman that you would love to have as a best friend. She is not only an incredibly beautiful plus-size model, but she also is a big supporter of women’s rights, maternal health, and diversity, in addition to being a very fierce role model for self-love and positive body image. When she isn’t on a runaway or out in front of the camera, she runs The Lily Project, which is a charity that speaks out for healthcare reform and takes on the subject of diversity within the modelling world, for both size and race. We can’t wait to see her more in the media and out on the runway!
So that is all for today – some of our favourite plus-size models. Those are just a couple of the amazing women who are part of the plus-size modelling world. With the body positivity movement starting to have a significant impact and as society starts to embrace women of all sizes and shape, we are hoping to see even more plus-size models emerge and make names for themselves.